A fire damaged three apartments at a southeast Colorado Springs complex while a red flag warning was in place Wednesday afternoon, said Fire Capt. Brian Vaughan.

The two-alarm blaze, which was reported shortly after 1 p.m., started outside at The Vue at Spring Creek on Ralphs Ridge and spread to the buildings, Vaughan said.

One of the damaged units was uninhabited. Of the occupied apartments, one has heavily damaged by flames while the other had smoke damage.

No people or animals were injured in the fire.

The American Red Cross helped five people who were displaced, a tweet says.

Strong winds made fighting the fire more difficult, Vaughan said.

"We saw fire growth probably double in the amount of time we normally would have seen it," he said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Wednesday, but Vaughan warned people to be cautious, especially on days with high fire danger.

"It goes 24/7 around here that (with) any type of heat source outside, you have to be super aware of your surroundings," Vaughan said. "If I go mow my lawn, I have my hose pulled because of the dryness of the grass. If my blade hits a rock, throws a spark, it's going to run faster than I can put it out with feet or a broom or whatever we might use to smother the fire."

A fire late last month that started when a woman tossed a cigarette into a pot of dry mulch burned 20 units at the Sunstone Townhomes in southeast Colorado Springs. The fire was so hot it melted gas meters, exposing gas lines that turned what normally would have been contained to a deck or one unit into a conflagration, firefighters said.

No one was injured in the blaze, but several animals died and 68 people were displaced.

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The Gazette's Chhun Sun contributed to this report.

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Ellie is a crime and breaking news reporter. She's a proud Midwesterner, stationery hoarder and Earl Grey tea enthusiast. After interning at The Gazette in 2015, she joined the newspaper's staff in 2016.

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